Neil Wise

The making of Politicians Video - part 1

The genesis of a great music video in my opinion has to be the song behind the video.  If you close your eyes what images does the music & lyric bring to your mind?  The song seed or idea for Politicians came from my friend Dean Anderson, not a musician or a songwriter, but an “Ideas Man” al la Steve Kerrigan in the classic Aussie movie – The Castle (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Castle ).   A typical message from Dean being, “Wisey, Wisey, Deano here.   I have got a great idea for a new song…when can we get together?”   The writing of the lyrics & the music to a finished state is the work part, which can occasionally be quick but most of the time needs time & space to grow from the seed!  In the case of Politicians it took me a few weeks & drafts to get the right feel about it.  Then I would do a rough demo in my home studio & road-test it listening on my music player headphones on my walks or bike rides around Melbourne suburbs near where I live.  These listens would help me hone the rough edges & get to something I was prepared to share with Dean.   Dean loved what I had come up with & was anxious to do something immediately but things are not always that straightforward.

 Fast forwarding a bit I got the opportunity to record some demos for the US market & Politicians was one of the songs that we chose.   In the demo process we worked the songs with the session players (Wiseguys) Jerry & Bob, & Todd the producer to set up the tempo & the feel for the song.   This is where the song started to morph itself from the acoustic guitar with modal mandolin riff “ruff” demo into the version we finally arrived at for the video.  Jerry’s suggestion for some AC-DC “Oi Oi Oi “chants was considered briefly amongst a laugh about but missed the cut.  The audio snips of Bill, Mitt, George W & Tricky D were flying thick and fast as I was dumped in the breakers whilst surfing the net for “Politicians lies!”  ….not too hard to pick the classics. 

Once the demos were finished the choice of Politicians for a video was an obvious one.   One that would strike a chord with many people around the world, in my opinion behind the vocal protagonists for causes there is a silent majority grumbling at the propaganda.   A meeting for a coffee with the charismatic Jerome Pelletier, a Swiss-French filmmaker from Melbourne based Stepping Stone Pictures was the next step.  Being my first experience at a professional clip it was a wonderful opportunity to morph the creative process from the auditory to the visual!  More next week